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Sunday, December 11, 2016

While the National Rifle Association is not best known for its environmental conscientiousness, its self-proclaimed status as “the number-one hunter’s organization in America” does give it a vested interest in preserving wildlife and its habitats. Since 2008, however, this interest has been slowly undermined by the oil and gas industry’s increasingly aggressive contributions to the NRA and other conservative sportsmen’s organizations. According to Matt Lee-Ashley’s recent report for the Center for American Progress, the NRA is joining oil and gas corporations in “reshaping American energy, land, and wildlife policy.”

Last week, Clayton Williams Energy Inc., a large oil company in Texas, made a $1 million contribution to the NRA. This large sum raised the suspicions of New York City comptroller Scott Stringer, who expressed concerns about “both the magnitude and the corporate purpose” of the donation. Stringer’s interest in the matter stems from his role as investment advisor and trustee to the $150 billion New York City Pension Funds, which have more than $3 million invested in the energy company. Given how little a group like the NRA has to do with CWE’s business, it certainly seems that there could be ulterior motives behind the money.

Last Monday, Stringer noted, “The reported contributions are extremely large for such a small company and seem intended to further the political views of its chairman and CEO rather than the interests of the company itself.” And it would appear that the political views of oil and gas companies across the nation are being furthered by their donations to sportsmen’s groups like Safari Club International (SCI) and the NRA.

In 2012 alone, six oil and gas companies — including CWE — contributed between $1.3 and $5.6 million to the NRA. In fact, CWE is the top contributor to the NRA outside of the firearms industry, and ranks as one of the top seven biggest donors overall. CWE’s generosity to the NRA continued despite their significant losses this year (the company is down $24.8 million, or $2.04 per share, according to its annual report).

As the oil and gas industry generously support sportsmen’s groups, they appear to be turning away from their constituencies in favor of the energy industry’s causes — specifically, mining, drilling, and logging in areas previously preserved for wildlife.

In 2011, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) introduced the Wilderness & Roadless Area Release Act, which proposed removing “approximately 43 million acres of Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) and Inventoried Roadless Areas (IRAs)” from federal protection. These lands would potentially be used for “timber harvests, oil and gas development, [and] motorized recreation.” Hundreds of wildlife managers and scientists, as well as sportsmen’s groups, protested the bill, calling it “an affront to a long-standing public process and our outdoor heritage.”

But despite the NRA and SCI’s supposed dedication to the interests of these individuals, both groups lobbied for the bill.

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15 Responses to NRA Abandons Hunters In Favor Of Oil And Gas Corporations

  1. Well, Who would ever guess that a cockide organization like NRA would throw the interests of its members under the bus. Move along folks.Nothing to see here other than the corrupting influence of money.And all this time we been thinkin’ the NRA was Red,White,and Blue.

    • Yeah, it’s kinda sad when an organization that claims they are trying to preserve people’s ability to hunt allow themselves to be taken over by people trying their damnedest to destroy game habitats.
      So, does this mean if a bunch of “Good Guys with Guns” try to have a standoff against the “Evil Developing Despoilers” (like the Koch Brothers) that Wayne LaPierre will denounce those who stand for freedom to hunt for fear of loss of funding of his lavish lifestyle?

      • I’d be very interested to see how that scenario would play out.Is this the beginning of the end for NRA? It would seem that they are experiencing a philosophical shift, at least at headquarters,that could result in huge dynamic repercussions that will come back to bite them.I’m no NRA supporter but I think this is a serious misstep on their part.

        • Where big money is involved there is no philosophy. No loyalty, no ideals, no long-term risks are ever considered in today’s world of corporate greed. The quicker the NRA can earn its way from big dollars and no longer have to pander to little people for their membership fees the happier it will be.

          • That’s a good point,nevertheless the NRA is traditionally dependent on its members for its very existence.If the NRA should begin to bleed members,then the need for it to exist diminishes.The flip side is that IF the NRA is no longer membership oriented,then it becomes something different than it has been thus far.

          • In that case it becomes something different than it has APPEARED to have been thus far. This recent development indicates that being membership oriented just got sold. The test will be how long it can continue to trick it’s traditional members or replace them with paranoid xenophobes.

    • Pepe Le Pew doesn’t care how he earns his money, sounds more like the Oil and Gas Companies are trying to buy a revolution and the NRA will supply the insurrectionists.

  2. Can’t wait until some hunters’ favorite sites are polluted and the wildlife is gone, then maybe they’ll wake up…..probably not

  3. Bbbbuttt…according to Roberts money has no influence on politics. How could donations to the NRA POSSIBLY affect their corporate opinion on wildlife and wilderness?

    /sarc off

    • I guess he doesn’t have an email account.If he did,then he would know from all the requests for political donations that his statement is not true.

  4. That’s really interesting. So the NRA is now getting money from the oil and gas folks. Of course they’re interested in the members or at least being able to fire up the members. They’re real motive is to help the oil and gas companies to open up the federal wildlife refuges to drilling. I’m sure the wildlife will love to be around drilling and extraction sites. And I am sure the drilling and extraction sites will love to have hunters around them. Wake up NRA members. You are being used by the NRA leadership.

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